Showing posts from November, 2021

Ock River Path, Saturday 20th November, 2021

  This Saturday, Abingdon Green Gym were working in the town itself on the Ock River Path. This location is a stones-throw from where some of our volunteers live, and I always admire their refusal to amble down dressed in their pyjamas with a cup of coffee in hand. Sally was our leader today, and we all met with her at the 'town end' (as opposed to the 'tesco end') of the path. There, we picked up our plethora of tools and trundled down to our 'camp site', that is, the place where we put the tarpaulin down and make a tool-pile. We were also lucky to have a couple of new faces join us this week, and some very welcome not-so-new faces who we had not seen in a while.  Sally explained to us the tasks which needed to be done on the site, as directed by Tim From The Council. These were as follows:  1) Litter-picking  2) Sapling protection (whacking or cutting down the nettles which threatened to block out light from our little baby trees) 3) Tree popping (removing sap

Jarn Mound, Saturday 13th of November, 2021

  Ye storm-winds of Autumn!  Who rush by, who shake  The window, and ruffle The gleam-lighted lake;  Who cross the hill-side Thin sprinkled with farms,  Where the high woods strip sadly Their yellowing arms -- Ye are bound for the mountains!  ('Parting', by Matthew Arnold') It wasn't actually very windy at all as the Abingdon Green Gym team met on Jarn Mound by Matthew Arnold's Field (see, there was a connection there!) and was instead a rather beautiful day, filled with autumn colours. This Saturday, the team were ready and armed to continue laying a hedge along the side of the wood by the road. This had been partially completed the year before, but we were back again to neaten up the new growth which had sprung up, and to continue our work along the roadside. We were led by Rod D'Ayla, who set us all off in different directions to get going on the hedge.  Living hedge laying is a job done between October and March when the trees and bushes which make the hedge

Boundary House Fen, Saturday 6th November, 2021

This week's blog was written by session leader and volunteer, Sally, and supplemented with photos by volunteer, Mags.   Yesterday, ten ardent Green Gymmers returned to Boundary House Fen on Frilford Heath Golf Course SSSI to carry on with the autumn cut and rake of reed in order to allow light and prevent the build-up of nutrients.  Fens are spring fed and as the water percolates through a chalk layer, it forms tufa on the surface, which makes them slightly alkaline and therefore the flora and fauna are specially adapted for these conditions.  Only Norfolk, Anglesey and Oxfordshire boast alkaline fens in this country, which makes them even more precious.  Fens are also better carbon stores than woodland.  It therefore seemed even more fitting that we were working on this site on the Global Day of Climate Justice!   We worked under the direction of Rod d'Ayala, who had visited the site the day before and in the fading light managed to mow a lot of reed, so there was plenty for t

Kennington Memorial Field, Saturday 30th November 2021

This week's blog post was written by volunteer and leader, Eleanor Dangerfield.  This Saturday we were at Kennington Memorial Field, which is managed by Oxford Preservation Trust. We have been coming here twice a year for a number of years now, once at the end of October and once at the end of February. The day had started off very wet, but as we met in the car park the rain began to clear and Stephen Dawson from the Trust gave us our instructions. The main task was to cut back brambles and other vegetation which was encroaching on the field,  some lucky people getting to use the “tree popper”,  while a smaller group was to clear logs from the stream at the bottom of the valley and cut back overhanging branches. We were also joined by some Kennington residents who had worked with us before. By coffee break time our Green Gym luck was holding and the weather had turned quite sunny. Then it was back to work, continuing with the lopping, scything and raking tasks and making habitat pi